Itongadol.- Two papers discuss the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas:
Yediot Aharonot says that Israel will be watching the US reaction to the agreement and cautions that "Unless there is a marked American response, this will be the start of a diplomatic avalanche that will lead to Western recognition of Hamas." The author notes that Jerusalem is calling on Washington "not to cooperate with Hamas as long as it does not accept the Quartet\’s three conditions: Recognition of Israel, recognition of the agreements that have been signed between it and the Palestinians and a renunciation of terrorism." The paper notes that once Abu Mazen assumes the leadership of a unified Palestinian Authority government, Israel will hold him responsible for any firing from the Gaza Strip.
Yisrael Hayom asserts that "One must regard the reconciliation agreement between Abu Mazen and Hamas with caution and suspicion," because "Similar agreements that they reached in the past were violated repeatedly." The author avers that "Hamas is coming to the wedding without any dowry. Syria and Iran have turned their backs on it due to its support for the anti-Assad rebels, and in Egypt Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal are seen as dangerous enemies who are no different than their Muslim Brotherhood cohorts." The paper claims that Hamas\’s popularity in the Gaza Strip is very low due to its "inability to ensure residents even a minimal standard of living," and declares: "Hamas needs Abu Mazen like it needs air to breathe." But the author also contends that "Abu Mazen is coming to the wedding empty-handed," and adds: "Nobody in the Arab world really supports him and he knows not to expect anything from the international comm unity." The paper believes that the collapse of the negotiations with Israel will lead to "a demand on the Palestinian street to resume the struggle against Israel, which the experienced Abu Mazen knows is liable to end in disaster." The author doubts whether "Abu Mazen and the Hamas leadership will be able to overcome the burden of the past, especially the fundamental contradictions in their worldviews and long-range political interests," and doubts whether any unity government will be able to survive.
The Jerusalem Post criticizes proposed postal reforms aimed at saving the postal company money but will adversely affect services to the public and require recipients to pay indeterminate sums for items they receive by mail, and asserts: “Requiring remuneration from passive addressees is disgraceful, especially in a country full of immigrants with ongoing ties abroad.”
Haaretz comments on the IDF decision to “begin sending ‘voluntary draft notices’ to an estimated 800 Christian youths, inviting them to enlist in the army,” and asserts: “By inviting Christian citizens to enlist in the army, Israel is distinguishing between Arabs on the basis of religion.” The editor believes that this position “undermines the idea of citizenship, which in a democracy should not and cannot distinguish between citizens according to their religion, race or gender,” and adds that the government “has adopted this course of action and is turning it into its declared policy. This policy must be aborted.”
[Alex Fishman and Professor Eyal Zisser wrote today\’s articles in Yediot Aharonot and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]